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Army Postpones Bergdahl Court-Martial

  • VOA News

FILE - In this file image taken from video obtained from Voice of Jihad website, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, sits in a vehicle guarded by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan.

FILE - In this file image taken from video obtained from Voice of Jihad website, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, sits in a vehicle guarded by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan.

The court-martial of U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl for alleged desertion has been postponed until February.

Bergdahl, 30, was to have been put on trial in August on charges of walking away from his post in Afghanistan in 2009. But a military judge at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, put off the trial for six months to give legal teams more time to prepare.

The Taliban quickly captured Bergdahl after he left his outpost. He was freed from captivity in 2014 as part of a prisoner swap involving inmates at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Bergdahl's lawyers say he walked away from his post to warn officers about problems in his unit. But the U.S. Army says that could have put his fellow soldiers in grave danger.

His defense team says it is upset at the postponement because they say the trial will now take place after a new president takes office. They say their case may have been poisoned by likely Republican nominee Donald Trump, who has called Bergdahl a "dirty rotten traitor" who should be executed.

Democrat Hillary Clinton, who leads in the delegate count in her party's presidential nominee selection process, has not publicly commented on the court-martial, but she defended the prisoner swap at the time.

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